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Leveraging technology

Feb 17 2011 00:00 Andile Makholwa
BY DEVELOPING next generation workplace technology services – such as K-log and TalentOcean – staffing services group Kelly intends to “move away from being just another staffing company to the one that adds value at every link of the human capital management chain through constant innovation”. K-log – a people resources planning system – is a promising proposition for human capital-intensive industries, such as retail chains, banks, mining companies and special projects, like the 2010 Soccer World Cup. TalentOcean is an online portal that brings job-seekers and employers together while also offering HR software solutions.

Writing in the group’s 2010 annual report, CEO Grenville Wilson describes Kelly’s diversifying into new, high-margin technology products and services (K-log and TalentOcean) as a key strategic initiative. “While these new products and services are still in their infancy and have not yet started contributing to the group’s bottom line, they are pure margin businesses that will not only help during difficult periods but will also place the group in a strong position when trading conditions improve,” says Wilson.

He says: “It measures, monitors and analyses human resource metrics and feeds that data into a company’s top decision-making framework through up to date management reports. It allows companies to align their human resources with their strategic objectives by knowing exactly and immediately which departments or operations or even employees, no matter their number or location, are performing optimally or below standard and taking the necessary action.”

To that effect, says Wilson, K-log has achieved a payroll saving of up to 15% where it’s been implemented and a 40% reduction in costs associated with workforce administration.

However, a close look at the annual report suggests there have been some glitches in the implementation of its K-log system. For example, while the division grew revenue fourfold from R900 000 in 2009 to R3,8m last year, soaring operating costs resulted in a R1m loss. It also appears the division has had to undergo some restructuring.

“For the 2011 financial year, further restructuring is planned for the marketing and sales of K-log’s operations to create business teams that will focus on the key growth sectors, which have been identified as internal brands, external blue chip companies, international companies, call centres and Government,” writes operations director Mark Robson.
 
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